Men's Health Disparities Cost U.S. Billions Every Year, Study Finds

Article excerpt

POOR HEALTH among American men costs more than $480 billion each year, according to research presented at APHA's 139th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in November.

The study found that men are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, die in car crashes, commit suicide and be injured at work than women. The average lifespan of American men is five years shorter than that of American women.

The study, which was published in the November issue of the American Journal of Men's Health, found a number of factors conspiring against men:

* testosterone may contribute to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke;

* men are more likely to make risky behavioral and lifestyle choices;

* men are more often than women employed in hazardous occupations, and

* men are more likely to be unemployed and less likely to be insured.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first analysis of the direct and indirect costs to the government and private sector that are the result of premature morbidity and mortality in men," wrote the researchers, headed by Armin Brott, MBA, an author and syndicated columnist with the Men's Health Network.

They found that men's poor health has a ripple effect on the rest of the economy, affecting everything from the cost of Medicare, which is higher for men because men tend to be in worse health when they enter Medicare, to costs to businesses from years of potential life lost. …